Brave Stevens takes a Gennady Golovkin Beating and Mike Perez Impresses
By Peter Wells
His English may still be hard to understand but what Gennady Golovkin is all about inside the ring with his gloves on is not difficult to understand at all. ‘GGG’ is coming to win every fight and coming to leave his opponent with a distinct memory of the torturous night they have endured. Curtis Stevens became the 28th victim, but this big-talking American showed a big heart inside the ring as he was saved from himself at the end of the 8th round
Gennady Golovkin floored Stevens just once, that being in the 2nd round, and was afforded the toughest fight of his career thus far. Stevens did enough to win a few rounds and apart from the 3rd round he never made Golovkin find any kind of a comfort zone.
Stevens had a clear game plan, and it was the right one. He went straight towards Golovkin, not giving the big-hitting Kazakh any room to generate full power in his punches. Unfortunately for Stevens after spending at least half of each round winning the battle on the inside, Golovkin always managed to sneak in a big shot that moved the New Yorker backwards. Once on his heels Golovkin dominated, even if he failed to land many of his trademark bombs, and took the rounds even though he was never dominating.
After a solid and disciplined start Stevens was caught flush by a huge left hook near the back end of the 2nd round. The expression on Stevens face was priceless, genuine shock was etched on his features. The American look worryingly to his corner and just managed to escape the round.
In the 3rd Stevens was happy to dance out of range, forfeiting the round but regaining his senses, Stevens did not come to lose. In the 4th he regained his confidence when he slammed in a big left hook followed by a right hand. Another 1-2 brought roars from his fans at ringside in what was Stevens’ round.
The rest of the contest followed a similar pattern as Stevens hung tough on the inside taking advantage of Golovkin’s only noticeable weakness, but ultimately he did not have the power or strength to keep Golovkin in that unfamiliar position.
Golovkin was also made to pay for his lack of head movement when coming forward at Stevens, while not winning the rounds looked relatively comfortable, and for a while it looked as if the tough hometown fighter would take Golovkin the distance, an unacquainted sight.
Then as the 8th round drew to a close Stevens was in trouble again and took a lot of punishment on the ropes but showed great strength in his legs to stay up from the bombardment coming his way. Thankfully the referee and his trainer came to an agreement to halt the contest, handing Golovkin his 25th knockout win.
With the win ‘GGG’ moves to 28-0(25) and remains the WBA Middleweight champion, fights against the likes of Sergio Martinez and Peter Quillin are now hopefully on the horizon.
As for Stevens who drops to 25-4(18) he will surely be afforded more opportunities at the top end of the Middleweight division. He may have lost but his stock has defiantly grown and more big paydays await.
On the undercard in an entertaining Heavyweight scrap Mike Perez won via unanimous decision against the previously unbeaten Magomed Abdusalomov.
Magomed had won all 18 of his contests via knockout but he was the one shaken on several occasions by the Cuba fighting out of Cork, Ireland. Perez boxed very well in spurts but also took the inside providing an action packed contest.
Abdusalomov who was beaten and bruised by the final bell dropped to 18-1(18) while Perez improves to 20-0(12).
Also Cruiserweight Ola Afolabi won a majority decision in another entertaining affair against Pole Lakasz Janik.
Afolabi started slow but took over as the contest drove on, ended on top and possibly should have forced a stoppage as Janik tired.
The new IBO Cruiserweight champion is now 20-3-4(9) while Janik slips to 26-2(14).
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